Tips for Managing Change


As the year winds down and the New Year approaches, many organizations will be formulating strategic plans.

Naturally, just like all improvement plans, these New Year plans will involve a necessary but most often unpopular component — change!

While change is not always perceived as being good, without change comes stagnation and potential loss. Examples include: Converse in sneakers or Kodak and Polaroid in photography, Blockbuster, Blackberry, and so many more… each experiencing significant declines in market share (or worse!) as competitors introduced new and improved, lower-cost alternatives.

The first step in any change effort is to help people develop the right mental attitude and understand that change is a constant part of long-term success.

Here are a few tips that might help people develop a better attitude toward change or a heightened “readiness” to change:

  • Plan ahead. If you know change is on the horizon, do some prep work. …
  • Reframe your thinking. Figure out what’s going on in your mind when you’re feeling sad or anxious, and break negative patterns.
  • Recognize that improvement or change is not an indictment of the current way but rather a never-ending search for a better way.
  • Take time to reflect. Is my “resistance” putting my career in jeopardy? Am I being overly stubborn? Am I afraid to try?
  • Strive to maintain some normalcy/routine.
  • Take a long term view. Sure, a new process or procedure will feel foreign at the start, but how will it feel six months from now? Next year?
  • Test yourself! Look at upcoming change as a challenge; remember that we tend to learn the most when we step outside of our comfort zone!
  • Recognize that it is a lot easier to change when you “can” rather than when you “must”